A century of South African adventure through the eyes of Herman Charles Bosman’s iconic story teller, Oom Schalk Lourens, designed and illustrated by Peter Badcock. Designer and illustrator of the best-selling Illustrated Bosman (1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988), Peter has arranged Oom Schalk’s stories in a chronology of his life and times, to present an entirely fresh look at Herman Charles Bosman’s Groot Marico and its place in South African history.
This selection of Bosman’s stories trace the life of Oom Schalk across the broad canvas of South Africa in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries. From his earliest recollections as a small boy in Pink Roses and Brown Water, to his experience of war and the wonders of the new century, Oom Schalk remains undisputed as the best storyteller in the Groot Marico. Over 150 carefully researched colour and black and white illustrations – including many from the Illustrated Bosman – add an extraordinary new dimension to Oom Schalk’s stories of another time.
Herman Charles Bosman had no pretensions to being an historian, for which reason it is exceptionally difficult to pin down the dates of Oom Schalk’s life and times with any exactitude. But perhaps it is better so. All we need to know is that Oom Schalk was born long after the Great Trek, and grew through the fractious history of the Boer Republics. That he fought in the War of Independence and lived to fight again in the Boer War, losing his two children in a British concentration camp. That he farmed in the Groot Marico, which he made famous as the best story teller of his time. And that he lived well into the twentieth century, wondering at the invention of steam threshers, gramophones and bioscopes.
It is likely that he died, but we have no way of knowing when. Nor does it matter. Better by far to wink back, sharing the joke, as he sucks his pipe and regards us with wry amusement over the rim of his coffee mug.
Marico Moments – the life and times of Oom Schalk Lourens will be published in hardback by Lizard’s Leap Press and includes an introduction by the illustrator, Peter Badcock, as well as a history of the period, illustrated with a
selection of archival engravings, paintings and early photographs.
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